Imtiaz Dharker

Rating: 2.33
Rating: 2.33

Imtiaz Dharker Biography

Imtiaz Dharker (born 1954 is a Pakistan-born British poet, artist and documentary filmmaker. She has won the Queen’s Gold Medal for her English poetry.

Dharker was born in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan to Pakistani parents. She was brought up in Glasgow where her family moved when she was less than a year old. She was married to Simon Powell, the founder of the organization Poetry Live, who died in October 2009 after surviving for eleven years with cancer. Dharker divides her time between London, Wales, and Mumbai. She says she describes herself as a "Scottish Muslim Calvinist" adopted by India and married into Wales. Her daughter Ayesha Dharker, (whose father is Anil Dharker), is an actress in international films, television and stage.

Dharker has written five books of poetry Purdah ...

Imtiaz Dharker Comments

Joan Morrison 05 January 2018

I loved Imtiaz's poem called Thaw which was commissioned for the BBC's radio 4 programme on the 4 seasons and aired on the Sunday before Christmas. Is there any chance of getting a print out of this poem?

10 5 Reply
Daniel Nunn 21 November 2017

In my English class, one of my close friends is researching Dharker's poem, The Right Word. Unfortunately, the poem is not on the website. I hope you can fix this fatal error soon. Dickhead.

2 23 Reply
Daniel Nunn 21 November 2017

In my English class, one of my close friends is researching Dharker's poem The Right Word. Unfortunately, this poem is not on the website. I hope you can fix this fatal error soon. Dickhead.

3 21 Reply

The Best Poem Of Imtiaz Dharker

THEY'LL SAY: ‘SHE MUST BE FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY'

When I can't comprehend
why they're burning books
or slashing paintings,
when they can't bear to look
at god's own nakedness,
when they ban the film
and gut the seats to stop the play
and I ask why
they just smile and say,
‘She must be
from another country.'

When I speak on the phone
and the vowel sounds are off
when the consonants are hard
and they should be soft,
they'll catch on at once
they'll pin it down
they'll explain it right away
to their own satisfaction,
they'll cluck their tongues
and say,
‘She must be
from another country.'

When my mouth goes up
instead of down,
when I wear a tablecloth
to go to town,
when they suspect I'm black
or hear I'm gay
they won't be surprised,
they'll purse their lips
and say,
‘She must be
from another country.'

When I eat up the olives
and spit out the pits
when I yawn at the opera
in the tragic bits
when I pee in the vineyard
as if it were Bombay,
flaunting my bare ass
covering my face
laughing through my hands
they'll turn away,
shake their heads quite sadly,
‘She doesn't know any better,'
they'll say,
‘She must be
from another country.'

Maybe there is a country
where all of us live,
all of us freaks
who aren't able to give
our loyalty to fat old fools,
the crooks and thugs
who wear the uniform
that gives them the right
to wave a flag,
puff out their chests,
put their feet on our necks,
and break their own rules.

But from where we are
it doesn't look like a country,
it's more like the cracks
that grow between borders
behind their backs.
That's where I live.
And I'll be happy to say,
‘I never learned your customs.
I don't remember your language
or know your ways.
I must be
from another country.'

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